In a recent post, we talked about kids listening to music while they do their homework. If you do allow music during homework, beware, of the “fake out!” Many kids and teens tell me they digitally cheat – unbeknownst to their parents – when there are iPads, smartphones, or laptops in arms reach. They can switch on multiple screens, steal a few minutes on YouTube, and most distracting, read and respond to the constant volley of texts and tweets and pictures coming from social media. It’s all only a finger tap away. And when parents check in, their children close the screens down stealthily and shine an innocent smile.
It’s not all their fault. We do it too. These digital platforms are designed to keep everyone – especially children with less developed self-control skills – on screen for as long as possible. That’s how these companies make their revenue and profits. It’s a business. That’s fine, but we need to be aware. They are designed to be irresistible and to pull our limited, precious attention (and brain disk space) off from what we really need to be focusing or thinking about. Which in this case, is homework.